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New Lucian Leape Institute Report Finds That U.S. Medical Schools Are Falling Short in Teaching Physicians How to Provide Safe Patient Care
Date:3/10/2010

t figures in these fields to patients and current medical students who are experiencing medical education first-hand.

The 40-member Roundtable quickly surfaced several major themes. Most medical schools do not teach safety science nor equip new doctors with the interpersonal skills they need to practice safely. The singular focus of medical schools for the past 100 years has been on teaching basic sciences and clinical knowledge; this is no longer adequate. To practice safely, and to improve care, students need to learn safety science, human factors engineering concepts, systems thinking, and the science of improvement. And they need to develop the interpersonal skills to communicate effectively with co-workers and patients and work well in teams.

Teaching hospitals, where clinical education of students and residents takes place, are also falling short in their safety education and training roles. Like medical schools, most teaching hospitals have hierarchical cultures that are inimical both to safety education and safety improvement. The unquestioning deference to physician authority inhibits adherence to safe practices and team-building across disciplines. In addition, too many students suffer humiliating and dehumanizing experiences at the hands of the faculty, their role models, which creates a culture of fear and intimidation, impairs learning, and creates the likelihood that students and residents so treated will pass these behaviors on to the next generation of learners.


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SOURCE National Patient Safety Foundation
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